Earlier this month Google launched personalized results by default for all users. Searchers will however have the ability to opt-out completely, and there are various protections designed to safeguard privacy. Check out Google’s personalized search result announcement of how this will affect you future search.

Personalizing search results has worried the SEO community as it seems to be the end for SEO according to some SEO’s. Danny Sullivan mentions; this would not be the case as there will still be normal search results for many queries. The Personalized search result would only come into affect if users visit the same website again and again. This is however useful from a user experience but not for SEO. However, people would still want to visit/research other websites and would be typing in different key terms to find the results. Danny goes onto add “SEO remains important to ensure that you’ve got that first shot at being considered. And the best tip in this new world of personalization remains the same. Make a good impression.”

I totally agree with Danny’s comments and that it is more important that before to make sure you get to your users before your competitors. Along with making sure that the website is optimally optimised to users and search engine standards, it would be very useful to analyse the often neglected long tail search terms and optimising website to rank highly for such search terms. Avinash kaushik covers the topic quite well with analytics data.

Also along with SEO, websites should look closely into usability factor by improving the design, structure and making website more user friendly to keep driving the interest of their users. Remember, more often that not, it’s the first impression that is the last. Engaging in Social Media should also be very useful tool for driving user interest as on an average people spend 25 minutes on Facebook everyday.

Rand Fish from SEOmoz covers the topic quite well as well; How Personalized Search Changes SEO (and Doesn’t)

So cheer up SEO’s and start planing new strategies for the New Year! Merry Christmas to everyone!